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Embroidery Machine Questions From a Beginner


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Our 13yo daughter has purchased her first embroidery machine. A Brother beginner combination machine.

We could have gotten a CD of 5000 embroidery designs free if we had gone with a local vendor, but, for many reasons, we did not purchase from them. All the choices we have found online are individual designs or CDs of subject specific collections.

  • Is there a source for 'general embroidery clip art' type designs just to give her a start? I know that the machine will have some programmed, but we are looking for more ideas.
  • Also, who do you recommend for supplies.
  • Anyone heard of 'Marathon Thread'?


Any other tips would be great!


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Lots of websites will have some freebies, so you can check into that when looking at online vendors.


I'm a little confused as to your question about general embroidery clip art. You have to have embroidery designs (art that has been digitized) in order to do embroidery so you'll still be looking at designs or sets (digital sets) or something to purchase or find for free. I don't know of any basic collections for the begining embroider and it'll also depend on her taste as well.


I like looking at emblibrary.com and sign up for their emails for sales. They have some better prices than some other places I've found but there are a lot of vendors out there. Urban Threads has some cute and more young or edgy designs too. I only buy with sales though.


There are a lot of other websites out there and many will have freebie files, so check into those. I love doing applique-embroidery with my machine, planetapplique.com is one off the top of my head, but you get really cute designs without using as much thread. :)


A few years ago, I'd heard that metro thread can be a great price on thread but my machine doesn't like it. I have isacord and robinson-anderson (sp?) thread along with stuff I pick up at JAs. But I have a bit higher end machine too.


Hope she has a lot of fun making cute stuff.

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These are great sites. We'll have to be careful not to drop a lot of money at Emblibrary. They have beautiful designs!

Any other advise...BTDT?


DD has been doing my messages, so the misspellings (now corrected=) were not my responsibility=)


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I would get the Brother PED software so that you can use online designs, unless the new basic machines have that capability already. Mine long ago did not, and the only way to get designs was to purchase the Brother disks that went straight into the machine. There's a basic version of the software that transfers the designs onto the special Brother memory card, and there's a PED-Design that allows you to do some basic designing. I got the PED-Design with my 6-needle machine. I don't believe it's the best design software out there, but I don't know what is because I haven't gone down that road. :)


Check out sewforum.com for lots of information. There are yahoo groups with info, but most of these seem to be changing over to FB groups. Applique Forum, Planet Applique, Designs by Juju, Digistitches, hmmm, trying to think of where I usually buy designs...


Machines can be particular about thread. I've read mixed reviews on Marathon. Some people love it and some people's machines eat it. I personally love Madeira thread. I think it's pretty universally liked by Brother machines. You can get a big, mixed color pack with a carrying case from several places online. Stick with polyester thread, not rayon. I haven't shopped for thread in a bit, so I'm not sure where the deals are right now. Allstitch.net has great customer service and pretty good prices on stabilizer, needles, etc. They carry the set of Madeira Polyneon too (but again, I have no idea if this is the best price):

http://www.allstitch.net/product/madeira-polyester-40-48-spool-kit-3732.cfm It seems like a big outlay at once, but it's so much better quality than the Coats stuff at JoAnn's, and when you price it out, it's much cheaper and will keep you from running to the store for each project. I use my set for pretty much everything and just find something that's close enough unless it's something truly special.

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You might be able to find a CD or something on ebay to get a good basic collection of files to start with. Make sure her machine can use them (example my machine uses .pes files) but most sellers offer all different formats too but would hate for you to find a 'great deal' just to get it home and have it not work.


As for other tips:

-- I got my machine from my mom and she used tear-away stabilizer for pretty much everything and I've been very happy following suit - sure simplifies not having a dozen different stabilizers and I've yet to make some that it seemed inappropriate for.

-- Be sure to apply interfacing to what you're embroidering if it needs it like knit shirts or satins or anything that will shift a lot, sure helps with wrinkles and puffiness.

-- I only ever hoop the stabilizer and then use spay adhesive to stick my fabric/item onto the stabilize in the hoop. Makes it much easier for me to get things lined up well and not accidentally skew things with hooping.

-- Keep in mind what you're embroidering and the design you picked out, if the fabric/item is thin or fine then a dense design with a lot of stitches isn't going to turn out well.

-- If embroidering on something puffy like towels or minky, where you need stabilize on top (so the design doesn't sink in), you can use a fine tulle on top instead of the wash-away stabilizer commonly suggested - I usually have some tulle around and still haven't needed to buy the wash-away stuff (and happy to not have to wash/rinse it away before giving it).

-- When buying desings, watch how many stitches are in the design and also how many colors and thread changes there are. I will go with a simpler design with less colors or think of how I can use one color in more than one area to keep the thread changing down.

-- Try to visualize how something will look with substituted colors can be helpful so you're not buying every single shade of pink or blue out there - but sometimes, if you don't use the designated colors it just might not turn out as expected. I've only had the problem once so far.



Thats about all I can think of off the top of my head. Good luck.

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I have a Brother PE-770, that I love. As far as thread, don't buy a lot till you know that your machine likes it. My machine hated Metro. I stick with RA poly, now. I buy most of my RA thread at brothermall2.com. Sewforum.com is a great forum, also they have a thread for people to post free designs. Patternreview.com has an embroidery section in their forum. Also, for software, I have Embird. It's great because you can slowly buy what you need and add on.


As far as desings, you can get a few free off of each of the different embroidery design websites. Many often have sales. Embroiderydesigns.com as mentioned above has lots you can download for free, but they just limit how many you can download each week. I know initially I bought a CD off ebay with a bunch of designs.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest emmalomax



You might check out this link...I'm also looking to buy an embroidery machine so I've been researching them lately. Good luck to your daughter.


I am also looking for free embroidery design and your recommended page has many free ambroidery design. I am just going to add some into cart. This is really good for new embroiderer and provide the ideas of embroidery artwork.

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